Page 25 - Soundwave Magazine
P. 25

  knew many Americans did not have. States like Tennessee also burdened community groups that help register voters with unnecessary regulations and restrictions.
This only got worse after Shelby, when several of the states once held in check by pre-clearance immediately enacted restrictions on voting that would have been, or had been, blocked by the federal government.
Now, with a weakened Voting Rights Act, lawyers have had to combat voter suppression using time-consuming and expensive methods, and many voters have had to vote under the problematic law because elections happen faster than court resolutions. This year, Americans will choose their president, a person whose nominations to the Supreme Court will have an impact on voting rights and other important matters nationwide. Voters will also elect 11 governors, 7 states’ secretaries of state, and other officials who set and implement policies that impact our everyday life, including state voting rules. With looming uncertainty, we do not want to go without all the available protections against voter suppression in place.
Congress has the first responsibility: pass a restored Voting Rights Act, now with the Senate. But that is not enough. Our legislators should also provide adequate funding to states and localities to administer their elections.
And others need to join the effort to protect the vote. Governors and secretaries of state need to make sure that the technology Americans use to vote is secure, and that Americans have fair polling place resources — voting locations, machines and poll workers when they vote. Voters need
to get themselves and their family, friends, and neighbors registered; check to ensure their registration status stays active; and make sure that everyone (including themselves) can get to the polls and vote.
Elections are when we all get to have our say about the direction the country is going in. Today might be our first step in ensuring they remain democratic.
The strange impeachment trial of Donald Trump
Jan. 25th, 2020 WASHINGTON, DC. Outside the Capitol building on January 21st it was business as usual. A group demonstrator chanted on the lawn. One man silently held up a sign warning “God is watching”. Another, with a placard taped to his purple shirt proclaiming, among several other things, “I am Jesus Christ”, screamed tirelessly.
The closer you drew to the Senate floor, however, the more unusual things became. Reporters who wished to enter the Senate’s half of the building required not just press credentials, but special tickets, and were confined to roped-off pens outside the Senate floor. The Senate’s presiding officer was not, as is customary, a senator or the vice- president, but John Roberts, the Supreme Court’s chief justice. During the proceeding, senators had to surrender their mobile phones, forswear coffee—only water or milk allowed on the Senate floor — and heed the sergeant-at-arms’ warning
to “keep silence, on pain of imprisonment”.
Democrats wanted to hear from them, as well as other witnesses whom the White House had blocked. On January 21st they forced — and lost — many votes on subpoenas for documents and witnesses, less because they thought they stood a chance of winning than because they wanted to force vulnerable incumbent Republican senators to cast votes that can be used against them in an election campaign.
These five senators, running this autumn in states where Mr. Trump has a negative net-approval rating — Susan Collins of Maine, Martha McSally of Arizona, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Joni Ernst of Iowa — were in an unenviable position. Voting to convict Mr. Trump risked prompting a Republican primary challenger. Helping to form majority support for more witnesses and evidence risked inviting a long court fight — Mr. Trump would have probably tried to block Mr. Bolton from testifying — which left time for questions from pesky reporters. Yet, appearing too eager to rush to a verdict risked harming them with the independent voters they needed would have to hold on to their seats.
Mr. Trump, watching the initial proceedings from Davos, appeared supremely unconcerned with anyone’s fate but his own. He called the House managers “major sleaze- bags” and fantasized about attending his trial in order to “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces”. And he boasted, “Honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.” That is, of course, precisely what is alleged in the second article of impeachment.
Continued on page 26...

   23   24   25   26   27